Hang on to your horses because this one is going to sting. We know that there are a lot of foods that aren’t necessarily healthy, but our kids love them and they are convenient. We were surprised about a few that made the list. We know that stripping all 10 of these away might send your house into a tail spin, so we suggest substituting those you can then gradually removing or replacing items a little at a time.
Here are the Foods that you need to watch:
1. Breakfast Cereals – Capt. Crunch leads the pack with the least nutritional value so steer clear and look for cereals with at least 3+ grams of fiber and less than 10 grams of sugar. Of course switching to oats with fresh fruit is an even better option.
2. Granola Bars – Great news! These can go from the top of the worst list to the top of the best list. Just look for bars without added sugars, preservatives, and ingredients you can pronounce. Fiber and protein are great for filling your little ones up and giving them energy. If you are really ambitious, try making bars at home. There are several great healthy recipes available on line.
3. Lunch Meats – This is a tough one. The prepackaged lunch meats are filled with nitrates, sodium, fats, and a bunch of stuff we can’t read. The first step would be to move to the deli counter and look for low sodium options. Healthier and cheaper alternatives include: Slicing your own meat from home (i.e.. chicken or turkey breast), add tuna to your sandwich regiment, or try Trader Joe’s “off the bird” meats.
4. Snack Cakes – This one is a no brainer! Cupcakes, zingers and twinkies just need to leave the lunch box. replace with natural sugars like grapes.
5. French Fries – If you don’t eat out a lot, this should be an easy one to eliminate. If you are out to dinner or lunch, try one of the other options such as fruit. If your kids melt down, maybe incentives them with something other than food if they make the better choice.
6. Pizza- Ordering pizza is ok now and then. If you find yourself ordering pizza several times in a month or even week, pump the breaks. A homemade pizza is significantly healthier than delivery. Make it a fun evening for the family. They can help with toppings such as BBQ chicken or Hawaiian.
7. Juice boxes – This one is difficult if your child takes their lunch every day. Try to get them to drink milk (not chocolate) or water at meals. If they absolutely have to have a juice at lunch, look for juice with less sugar.
8. Crackers- These re a great snack right? Well sometimes. Check the label and at least make sure you are getting some fiber and grains in each serving. This will help to keep tummies full and add nutrients.
9. Soda – Don’t drink it.
10. Fruit Snacks – What are those little jelly shapes made of anyway? It’s candy lets face it. Replace with real fruit or organic applesauce. Dried fruit is also a good option.
Like we said….baby steps! Try replacing one this week.
If you want more information about the worst foods to order when dinning out, click on the link below. You might be surprised!
Diet and Nutrition on NBC News